Welcome speech of the Swiss Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic H.E.Véronique Hulmann at the Reception devoted to the celebration of the Swiss National Day
September 13, 2018
We are delighted to host this reception on the occasion of the Swiss National Day: a first for myself and my family. As you might know, the Swiss National Day is usually celebrated on 1 August and thus we are a bit late this year… you might also know that our first Constitution establishing the Swiss Federal state was signed on September 12 1848.
This Constitution evolved over time, but it conveys some key values that remain valid and of extreme importance in the challenging times the world is currently facing.
Indeed the Swiss Constitution reaffirms the willingness of the government and of the Swiss people to unite to strengthen democracy, independence and peace in a spirit of solidarity and openness towards the world.
Switzerland and the Swiss society are built on cohesion, cultural diversity and inclusion. Today, our country is stable but it has not always been the case. This results from constant endeavors since 1848 towards more integration.
First, political integration with a government, always composed of Ministers from the four main political parties of our country and taking decisions on a consensus-basis;
Second, integration of different regions and cultures: in the Parliament, for example, each canton, whose flags you can see around you, has two representatives in the higher chamber. Similarly, my country has four national languages which are all represented in the Parliament.
Third economic and social integration with solid social policy and inclusive economic growth.
This also provides with shared values that guide our foreign policy and international engagement.
Switzerland is a small country and we never had the ambition to become a superpower…. We are realistic, pragmatic and predictable. We believe that the best way to protect the prosperity and wellbeing of our country and people is to be open and inclusive, to comply with international law, and to find allies for consensus building to address global challenges and crises.
Switzerland is strongly engaged in the multilateral framework which we believe provides the space to find fair and just solutions also benefiting the most vulnerable ones.
Let me also stress that Switzerland is strongly committed towards the Agenda 2030 and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This Agenda is unique because it establishes a direct link between domestic and foreign policies and because it promotes collective responsibility.
Excellences, dear guests,
Multilateralism and sustainable development are two key words in our relation with the Kyrgyz Republic. Our relations of trust have grown within the frame of multilateral institutions, KG and CH being part of the same constituency groups in the Bretton Woods institutions.
Switzerland through its large bilateral development program supports KG in its efforts to achieve the SDGs. Over the last two decades, we have invested more than $ 400 million in KG towards this goal and we are committed to continue supporting the country in the years to come
Bilateral economic relations between our two countries, however, remain modest. To try to enhance these links, our Minister of Economy together with a large Swiss business delegation visited the country in July. Last week, a second Swiss economic delegation was here. I sincerely hope that these efforts will bear their fruits.
Bilateral relations are also about people, and the participation in the Nomad Games of a Swiss team shows how close Kyrgyzstan is to the heart of the Swiss people. Tonight, I would also like to acknowledge the important role that the Swiss citizens living in KG are playing in enhancing relations between our two countries and I would like to thank them warmly for that.
I would like to conclude by saying that I am honored to serve in KG and by thanking the government and our partners for the excellent collaboration. Dear compatriots, thank you again for your presence in this beautiful country. Finally, I would like to thank my team for its commitment and hard work and also my family for their unconditional support.